FM Kandil Adham (2347) of Egypt was declared the winner of the Zone 4.2 Championship which came to an end today afternoon in the capital city of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. FM Kandil Adham obtained 7/9 the same as his compatriot Sobh Amrou (2210) but was declared the winner on tie-breaks.
Egypt once again proved that she is master of Zone 4.2 by grabbing the top 2 places. In 3rd place was our Ugandan buddy FM Harold Wanyama who obtained a much deserved Bronze medal with 6/9 just edging out his compatriot Haruna Nsubuga who also obtained 6/9.
Zone 4.2 comprises of Burundi, Djibouti, Eriteria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Egypt and Kenya.
The event was hosted by Tanzania Chess in conjunction with Tanzania Chess Foundation after Kenya declined to host the event.
There is no doubt that hosting an international event like the Zonal is a massive undertaking in terms of financing and logistics. Chess Kenya would have found it very tough to organise this due to the lack of funding and administrative capacity. Kenyans chess players were deeply disappointed by the turn of events and the only salvation was that Dar-es-Salaam is not so far away and can be reached by bus.
Kenya’s representation to this premier event took a knock when reigning Kenya National Chess Champion Ken Omolo decided not play at the last minute leaving only Vasanth Ramesh, Joseph Maigua, Joyce Nyaurai and WCM Riya Shah to proudly fly the Kenyan flag.
WGM Wafa Shrook of Egypt (2081) won the Ladies section with a perfect 9/9 while WFM Elansary Eman of Egypt (1924) won the Silver with 7.5/9. WFM Elansary Eman visited Kenya in July 2014 when she played in the 7th All African University Games (FASU) held in Nairobi. See story on 7th FASU Games.
The big news for Kenya was 16 year old WCM Riya Shah a student of Aga Khan Academy came out 3rd with 6/9 to win a much deserved Bronze medal and obtain the WFM title. Joyce Nyaurai came out 7th with a respectable 5/9 which will see her earn a WCM title.
Joyce Nyaruai was nominated by FIDE Continental President Lewis Ncube to take part in the event. This welcome gesture will go a long way to promote Kenyan chess.
Team Kenya almost got knocked out of this event when the former officials lodged a letter dated 14th April 2016 at the Sports Tribunal that this was not the official team! We are fortunate that the Sports Tribunal refused to support this stance and confirmed that the selected players must be allowed to travel.
Joseph Maigua (1792) caused a major upset in round 1 when held highly fancied IM Farahat Ali (2413) to a hard earned draw. This is what I call punching way above your weight!
We congratulate Chess Tanzania Chess and Tanzania Chess Foundation for putting up a grand show in this region. We are proud of the achievements of a newly formed federation and hope this serves to inspire the rest within the region.